Stirring the Mind into Thought

Life would probably be easier if we could say that what he have on top of our heads is just hair or just a “hairstyle.” However, it is not as the constant debate in the African-American community of “Good Hair vs. Bad Hair” rages on. Some people try to be oblivious to the fact that our hair is just as important to us as our whole bodies. Here is a list of my reasons why:

1 ) As India Arie said, “I am not my hair,” meaning that one should not judge me based on how he or she wears his or her hair. Still, we do it, using hair to describe everything from someone’s political views to socioeconomic background.

2 ) The hair care business is a billion dollar industry — why would someone pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for hair if they did not care about it?

3 ) Some people with certain hairstyles are fired, not hired, not promoted, forced to change their hair, or seen as intimidating and distracting at work (most of the time the hairstyles are not even inherently distracting or intimidating).

4 ) In the black community, some parents start relaxing their daughters’ hair at very young ages. One mother started relaxing her daughter’s hair at the age of three!

5 ) Some little girls already know the feeling of not liking their natural hair. Either they are constantly teased by other kids, have their family tell them that their hair is “bad hair” or grow up in a community that does not celebrate natural hair.

6 ) Observation: As some actresses and singers become more famous, they might go from a natural hair look to a more mainstream “glamorous” look (straight, shiny, long), although having one’s own natural hair texture can be just as glamorous.

7) If someone changes their hair, it immediately comes under scrutiny. Just look at what happened when Solange Knowles recently did the big chop ( a common natural hair transition when a black woman cuts off all of her relaxed hair) Instead she was criticized as doing a “Britney” move and called insane!

8 ) Other races do not know much about our actual hair texture or our hair care regiments or terms that we use when our hair is straightened or in its natural form. For Then many African-Americans become defensive and secretive when asked about it. (FYI: Do not touch our hair unless you ask first!)

9 ) Today, some women are willing to admit that they wear weaves or straighten their hair, but will refuse to go back to their natural texture.

10 ) Several women, including famous women, who get relaxers, straighten with a hot comb or iron and/or wear weaves, want to wear their hair in its natural, but do not have the courage to do it.

11 ) The media and some men seem to idolize straight hair over kinky hair and long hair over short hair on women.

12 ) Many cultures and religions believe that hair is related to spirituality, and also has a cultural and social significance as well as aesthetic importance (e.g. The Bible’s Samson: His hair was cut off and he lost all of his strength).

13 ) Despite obvious damage to one’s hair because of harsh chemical products, some people are willing to harm their hair and themselves for the sake of beauty.

14 ) Women who have gone natural have felt a greater sense of self-love, self-acceptance and living a more natural state of mind and lifestyle. I am not saying that if someone has natural hair, that she is better, more self-loving, blacker than someone else, but it is that one part of themselves that they are willing to recognize as their own and love as their own.

15 ) A lot of women feel trapped by having their hair in a relaxer — they cannot swim, workout or be in the rain without risking turning back to their natural hair texture.

16 ) Hair is more than an accessory. I doubt any other accessory that we have needs to be cut off or pulled out to take it off and no other accessory is hard to put back on once taken off. Despite what some think, our hair is an extension of us; it is not another accessory that we wear but a part of who we are, just as much as our head, our mouths, our hearts, our brains and the rest of our body. It is funny that we do not treat it as such.

And the list goes on… As more and more women are going back to their natural hair texture, some are waiting for big name celebrities to start to movement while others are waiting for a grassroots movement. I say, do it for you. Waiting around for someone else to do it will never get anyone anywhere, so do it for yourself. Part of the reason I went natural was to be an example to and educate the older generations, my peers and younger generation that it can be done and also be beautiful. I just hope others will gain the courage to join me in loving ourselves completely the way we are. Peace and love.

July 27th, 2009 at 3:33 AM
One Response to “Black Hair Part 2: Is It Really Just Hair?”
  1. 1

    what would you like to know, ask as many questions as you like!